Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Discipline Boot Camp

The other day, it occurred to me that my son is now closer to 3 than 2. In just a few days, he'll be 4 months shy of his 3rd birthday. It also occurred to me that at age 3, certain bad behaviors can't be excused with  a simple, "well, he's only 2." Or, "it's just the terrible twos!"

Along those same lines, I have been largely displeased with much of Davis' behavior of late. He has the whole not listening thing down to a science. When you tell him to stop doing something, he just acts as if you never spoke, and goes on about his business. He throws things for fun, he knocks over lamps in my house, and just kind of wreaks a little havoc everywhere he goes. Sometimes, like at the gym yesterday, he hits other kids. Not nice. It's just kind of embarrassing to you go to pick your child up, and, when you ask how he was, the gym babysitter says, "He was mostly good, but I had to put him in time out for hitting a little girl." (As a side note, adding child care to my gym membership was the greatest move I've made in some time.)

I say all of this in mostly good fun. He's a good-natured kid. He's very loving, very bright, and very charismatic. Those qualities make it very easy for him to get away with naughtiness.

So, this week, I started what I like to think of as Discipline Boot Camp. This is where all the inconsistencies of my last 2 1/2 years of parenting come to a screeching halt. We are enforcing the rules, and punishing when they are broken. I had been using Davis' crib for time-outs,  but have moved that to a spot on the floor in our entrance hall. I might even put a little mat there, Supernanny-style. Boring for him, easy for me to keep an eye on him. I also started using the timer on my iPhone so he'll know just when he can come out. The main thing, though, is that I am sticking to it. In the past, I've felt like time out doesn't work for Davis, but if I think hard about it, I have to admit that sometimes I use time out, and sometimes I let him get away with whatever he's doing wrong.

We'll see how it all goes. Something's gotta  give, though. I adore Davis with all my heart, but I know that some of this crazy boy stuff has got to be reined in.

I'd love for you to share your own disclipine tricks. I know so much of what Davis is doing is age-related, but I don't want it to get (more) out of hand (than it already is). Misbehaving children who are angels in their parents' eyes are nothing but trouble, and I don't want to send either of my kids down that road.


  1. I have problems now with my son not listening to me, and not stopping when I tell him to stop. 1,2,3 Magic is a good book and one I need to read again because like you said, consistency is key.

    But the good news is that my son is very well-mannered and behaved at school, I guess at home is when he's a nut.

  2. Positive Discipline for Preschoolers is an excellent book. I am a mommy and former Early Childhood Teacher (I've taught Pre-K thru grade 12). Good luck!